We’ve all had moments in life when we’ve had to take ourselves aside for a quiet word, like an umpire at a rowdy netball match, and tell ourselves to get it together. You find a reflective surface, look yourself dead in the eye and say ‘it’s fine, don’t worry… BUT that life fail you just did probably could have been avoided, so it’s time to rewind and take a little look at where it all started to go wrong.’

For me, one of those reflective moments began at a buffet table in Slough.

I am not proud of this. A few years ago I was at a friend’s birthday party with the most glorious, beige buffet spread imaginable. I’m talking 12 crisp flavours and sticks with cubes of cheddar, not even bothering with the pineapple – these hosts knew what we all wanted. Needless to say, I had my fair share of white dip that evening. After the night died down, a few of us moved on to a party at another house down the road.

For an hour or so we danced, made friends with the adorable house dog and annoyed the neighbours by discovering the trampoline in the back garden. Then a couple of us wanted to call it a night, so the host (read: kid whose parents’ house we were staying at) said we could stay in her baby brother’s bedroom. Snuggled into the tiny human-sized Spongebob duvet, I’d just began to drift off when I realised I needed the loo.

That’s when it happened. Angry at how I’d just treated it, my body completely betrayed me and, locked in the family bathroom, I produced the biggest poo of my life.

My life, people. It was so big it didn’t even splash, because there was no water left in the loo – it had sort of plugged the hole at the bottom. Like a rock.

giphypoopoo

First, I tried like a fool to flush, but obviously that just made water sit on top of The Rock and almost flood the bathroom.

Panicked, with members of the growing bathroom queue now banging on the door, I began my search for tools; shampoo, nail varnish remover, cotton wool… My hand even hovered over the collection of family toothbrushes (could I use them as tiny spades?!) until guilt got the better of me.

Then I spotted them: baby wipes. Diving across to the windowsill, sweating face glowing orange in the cul-de-sac street light, I created a glove out of the wipes, smothering my hand with them, holding the ends in place between my fingers.

After double checking for leakage holes, I plunged my hand into the loo and retrieved my poo. But this nightmare was far from over – how was I going to smuggle it out past the waiting crowd?

Obviously, I had to wrap it. With one baby wipe gloved hand cradling Rocky and the other wedged inside a roll of toilet paper, I whipped my hand round in circles until it was mummified. Then stuffed it inside my rucksack and fled the bathroom.

I darted into the Spongebob bedroom, shut the door and lent against it for a while to catch my breath. Was I done? Could I go back to my old life now? I thought I could. In the ultimate ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ moment, I put the rucksack containing my poo corpse in the corner of the room, slid back into bed and tried to nod off.

Obviously, it was no use. No one can sleep soundly with a giant poo in the room, it’s haunting. I opened my eyes a crack and the rucksack was staring right at me.

Fast forward 10 minutes and my best mate caught me trying to dig it a grave in the front garden. She then pointed to the wheelie bin right next to me, where we threw it in and pinky-promised to never speak of it again. She laughed, I died a little, and we retell the story every Christmas.

Oh balls! Ed Balls has finally been voted off Strictly Come Dancing, and I for one am DEVASTATED.

Not just because he was the best bad dancer they’ve probably ever had (his Gangnam Style will go down in SCD history as one of the bravest and most memorable pieces of choreography ever conceived), but also because I think he set a great example to us all.

Here’s what we can learn from Ed Balls’ time on Strictly

It really is the taking part that counts

Ed was never going to be the best dancer on the show (that award goes to Danny ‘SNAKE HIPS’ Mac, obvs), but from the first episode – when he nervously took to the floor to perform a genteel waltz – he was dedicated to learning, improving and generally putting his best foot forward (literally). And I think it really paid off. Yes, there are better dancers in the show, but I doubt many of them have made as many happy memories as Mr Balls.

Practice really does make (something sort of close to) perfect

OK, let’s be honest, none of Ed’s performances were what you’d call ‘perfect,’ BUT you can’t deny his dancing technique did improve as the series progressed. So no, none of us will be able to master absolutely everything we turn our hands to (I, for one, am still an abysmal violin player despite EIGHT YEARS of lessons – sorry mum!), but if you keep at it, you will at least improve. A bit. Probably.

Dad dancing is underrated

As I watched Ed enthusiastically fling Katya round the dancefloor, I was reminded of the many times I’ve hit the dancefloor with my own dad (usually at family weddings or Bar Mitzvahs), and realised that those are some of my fondest dancing memories. The lesson? Never ever pass on an opportunity to two-step with your pa. Yes, you’ll probably both look slightly ridiculous, but it’s a small price to pay for the #mems.

Laugh (at yourself) and the whole world will laugh WITH you

As the former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls could have easily refused to go with the flow (‘the flow’ being making a complete plonker of himself on national TV), but he didn’t. He embraced every silly second of his time on SCD, and in the process, totally won over his haters. Remember this next time you walk out of a public loo with your skirt tucked in your knickers.

Dancing like no one’s watching is as good as all those inspirational posters make out

It might be a massive cliché, but if Ed proved one thing, it’s that we should all dance like nobody’s watching more often. He may have been a nervous wreck for the first few weeks, but by the end of his time on the show, Ed’s confidence had grown to the point where he was 100% in the zone and having THE BEST TIME EVER, despite the fact 10million people were tuned in. If he can do that, you can definitely let go on the dancefloor of your next school disco.

Thanks for everything, Ed.

@MissSisiG